Trouble in PDP as govs tackle Tukur
*Accuse Tukur of dictatorship, courting party’s enemies
*Plan to dissolve party’s NWC; national officers panic
By Emmanuel Aziken & Henry Umoru
LAGOS—Trouble is looming in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as governors on the party’s ticket are rallying for a showdown with the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur over his alleged unsavoury attitude towards them.
The hard stance of the governors, it was learnt, had last night sent some members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party into a panic mode, following agitation by the governors for the dissolution of the body.
“There is trouble,” one senior party official said yesterday evening in between trouble-shooting meetings, one of several held in the federal capital yesterday.
The governors, Vanguard learnt, yesterday were mobilizing to convene a meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC of the party which is expected to reverse some of the actions of the NWC, particularly as it affects Adamawa State.
Yesterday, Governor Sule Lamido who heads the committee instituted by President Goodluck Jonathan to resolve the Adamawa crisis, met with some members of the committee including Governor Theodore Orji during where issues affecting Adamawa were reviewed.
Govs to use NEC against NWC
The governors who nominated most of the members of the NEC are now poised to use the body to reverse the actions of the NWC concerning Adamawa. Besides, the governors are also threatening to mobilize the NEC to convene a special convention of the party for the singular purpose of dissolving the NWC.
It was as such not surprising that the hitherto unanimous support Tukur was getting from NWC in his battle with Governor Murtala Nyako has dwindled as the NWC members moved to save their necks. A number of the NWC members, yesterday, had sent emissaries to the seething governors on their readiness to soft pedal.
The grouse of the governors flowed from the dissolution of the Adamawa State executive of the party on the instruction of the NWC led by the national chairman, Tukur. Tukur is from Adamawa State and until his election, he did not have much say in the affairs of the party in his state as the whole party structure was controlled by Governor Nyako.
However, following his election last March, Tukur moved to strengthen his hands in the state with the dissolution of the state executive of the party. The NWC said the reason for the move was that the state chairman, Alhaji Umaru Mijinyawa Kugama had overstayed his tenure and was from the same senatorial district as Governor Nyako.
The dissolution of the state executive was, however, opposed by the governors who alleged, among others, that it would inspire anarchy and lead to a situation where NWC members at the least provocation would dissolve state executives of the party. The state executives of the party are in almost all cases loyal to the governors and the decision against the Adamawa State chapter was seen as something that, if not checked, could in future affect all of them.
Yesterday, the same fear was expressed at the meeting of the governors in Abuja.
The governors at the instance of President Goodluck Jonathan, had agreed to the establishment of the Lamido committee as a soft landing for Tukur. The expectation, it was learnt, was that Tukur would use the report of the Lamido committee as the basis for reversing the dissolution of the Adamawa executive. However, to the chagrin of the governors, Tukur using the NWC forged ahead with the fresh congresses in Adamawa State last month with the aim of putting the state executive out of the control of Governor Murtala Nyako.
Besides sacking the Adamawa executive, Tukur is being accused of dictatorship following the suspension from office of the National Vice-Chairman, North-East, Alhaji Girigiri Lawal by the NWC on the allegation of not collaborating with the National Chairman’s agenda to weaken Nyako in Adamawa.
Tukur is also being accused of hobnobbing with the party’s local enemies in Adamawa State for the purpose of humbling Governor Nyako. It is claimed that supporters of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC candidate in the last Adamawa State gubernatorial election, Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd.) had been integrated into the structure of the PDP faction sympathetic to Tukur in Adamawa State drawing concerns from Nyako’s loyalists.